History, EHESS (associate researcher at CETOBAC), Paris, France


Octobre 2013 à Juin 2014


Dr. Yavuz Aykan is a historian of Early Modern Ottoman Society with a special focus on Islamic law and social praxis. He earned his PhD from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris), department of History and Civilisations in June 2012. He taught language courses at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO, Paris) and history courses, both graduate and undergraduate level, at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Before becoming a fellow at IAS-Nantes, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Humboldt University in Berlin, at the International Research Center “Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History” (“re:work” centre) and research fellow at the Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study “Law as Culture”.

Search project

Between person and property: towards a socio-legal history of the slave mother in early modern Ottoman society

Dr. Yavuz Aykan’s project is situated at the intersections of law and legal practices in the early modern Ottoman Society with a particular focus on kinship, labour and slavery. It engages in reading the jurisprudential debates about slave-labor and kinship, with a special focus on the issue of “legal fiction”. Through the prism of two legal concepts discussed by Muslim jurists as ümmi veled ('mother of the child') and mukateb (the slave who pays his master for his emancipation), it focuses on the doctrinal constructions of the categories governing labour in Islamic jurisprudence and their operation on the level of daily and economic life in the Ottoman Empire. With regard to the specification of the rights proper to the categories of ümmi veled and mukateb, it examines doctrinal models of persons and things through which exploitation of labour is articulated and legitimized in Islamic jurisprudence. This necessitates a reading of Ottoman jurisprudential debates with regard to ümmi veled and mukateb, in the larger evolving context of Islamic legal doctrine as well as that of the norm's sociological raison d’être through kinship, labour and slavery.


AYKAN, Yavuz. Property between Life and Death: A juridical debate over the property of a missing person (gaib) in eighteenth-century Ottoman Amid. In Islamoglu, Huri and Saraçoglu, Safa (ed.). Justice, Statecraft and Law: A New Ottoman Legal History. (forthcoming).

AYKAN, Yavuz. Comment al-hajj Mehmed s’est-il approprié un terrain récupéré de la décrue du Tigre? Le statut d’une terre vacante devant un tribunal ottoman (Amid au XVIIIe siècle). In Bargaoui Sami, Cerutti Simona and Grangaud Isabelle (ed.). Proceedings of the seminar Propriété et appartenance locale au nord et au sud de la Méditerranée à l'époque moderne. 29–30 octobre 2010, Tunis. (forthcoming).

AYKAN, Yavuz. Mariage. In Dictionnaire de l’Empire ottoman. Paris : Fayard (forthcoming).